Aggressive behavior in patients with dementia: correlates and management.

Research paper by Gabriele G Cipriani, Marcella M Vedovello, Angelo A Nuti, Mario M Di Fiorino

Indexed on: 17 Aug '11Published on: 17 Aug '11Published in: Geriatrics & Gerontology International


To consider the phenomenon of aggressive behavior perpetrated by people with dementia.We searched electronic databases and key journals using the search terms: aggressive behavior; dementia; behavioral and psychological symptoms.Aggressive behavior (AB) is probably one of the principal problems in dementia. Aggression is linked to internal factors (depression, psychosis, pain) and external determinants (caregiver burden, social stimulation, quality of caregiver-patient relationship). It has been suggested that challenging behavior in people with dementia reflects their premorbid personality traits.Over the course of the illness AB occurs in 30 to 50% of patients and causes extreme stress for caregivers. Careful identification of target symptoms and their consequences, non-pharmacological approaches, and use of the least harmful medication for the shortest period of time should be the guiding principle of treatment.